"Barnet Early Pregnancy Unit post A&E referral"

About: Barnet General Hospital

I arrived at Barnet Hospital A&E because I was experiencing strong abdominal pains. I knew I was pregnant but didn't know how far as I have PCOS and not had a period since the start of the year. I was seen fairly quickly in A&E as it was 9am in the morning. The nurse confirmed I had a positive preg test and would need to be referred to the EPU upstairs in the main hospital, but they needed to phone them to let them know I was coming. The nurse had to try and call various extensions before the team would pick up the phone. Straight away the EPU team told the A&E nurse that I could go up but if I am still in the early stages of pregnancy they couldn't do anything. It was the first sign that the team would be difficult to work with! We finally found the EPU after some digging around as there were no signs from the lifts to the unit. As I walked in, there were 4 nurses at reception talking to each other, I was briefly acknowledged by one of the receptionist who asked me to sit down, wait and fill in a survey! Most of the questions on the survey was about the care I had 'received' so I handed it back to say I've yet to get any treatment so cannot comment. One of the nurses piped up 'you need to hold on to it and fill it in later!' They were quite rude. I was taken to a room to have bloods taken and again told that since I am only a few weeks on (They didn't know at this point, they assumed!) that I won't get a scan but they will take bloods anyway. Once that was over, I waited a while in reception again, to hear the nurses talk about me like I wasn't there! They were chatting away and saying things like 'she's only here for bloods' - 'oh really' - 'yea she's only a few weeks pregnant, don't know why she's here' - for someone in my situation where I am having severe abdominal pains - hearing this just made me furious! Clearly they have no empathy for any pregnant lady and what her anxiousness would be like - if they understood then they wouldn't be talking like that!. We were sent away to wait for the results to come back. I was called within 1.5hrs to come back in urgently for a scan as my hormone levels showed I was further along than they thought. I walked back into the EPU and was again not acknowledged - I stood there patiently waiting for one of the many nurses to welcome me back. Instead I got a brisk 'go and sit down, we know you are here' - atrocious, they really knew how to make me feel welcomed and cared for! One of the nurses, who's job seemed to be solely to walk up and down the 10ft corridor to the sonographer transporting paperwork lead me to the scan. I found out that I was over 8 weeks pregnant. I felt the sonographer and the nurse who took my blood was very professional. The younger student (I assume) nurses could do with some basic customer service training and classes in etiquette/manners.

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Response from Barnet General Hospital

We're really sorry to hear about your experience with us. We will pass your comments on to our team at Barnet Hospital - if you would like someone to contact you directly, please email us with details on rf.communications@nhs.net. Thank you.

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